Saturday, April 30, 2011

Punjab pitches for eco cabs in all districts

Having received a favourable response from Amritsar and Patiala, the Punjab government has asked all Deputy Commissioners of the state to consider introducing eco-cabs in their districts. In an affidavit produced by Advocate Sudeepti Sharma, law officer for Punjab, the state today submitted that all the DCs of the state have been given three months' time to consider this and submit their reports.

The affidavit was filed during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) arising out of a suo motu notice taken by the High Court on a news item published by The Indian Express. The report had highlighted the significance of eco cabs.

The Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board has decided to forward the project report submitted by the Graduates Welfare Association, Fazilka, an NGO which had initiated eco cabs, to all the DCs.

DC Amritsar and DC Patiala have intimated that the scheme (launch of eco cabs) can be covered under the differential rate of interest scheme of RBI under which only four per cent interest is charged from beneficiaries. DC Amritsar has intimated that each rickshaw cab costs around Rs 11,256, the beneficiary shall be contributing only Rs 500.

"All the DCs can get in touch with DC Amritsar for getting the requisite number of Eco rickshaw cabs being made available at the said price. All the DCs shall complete this exercise within three months. Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board shall also extend monetary help to the DCs wherever it is needed for the smooth launch of this scheme," the affidavit states.

Taking the affidavit on record, a division bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice Ajay Tewari today directed the government to file a status report after three months. Also the High Court has asked Haryana government and UT Administration to convene a meeting to consider as to whether eco cabs can be introduced in Haryana and Chandigarh also.

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